Alumni Profile: Journalist Tovia Smith

September 27, 2013

Tovia Smith, Explo alumna with “the fondest memories” of her summer experiences at Explo, is an award winning public radio journalist based in Boston.

Tune the dial to any National Public Radio (NPR) affiliated station in the country and you are likely to hear the melodic and well-informed voice of Explo alum Tovia Smith reporting a story about our nation, our world, and the human experience. Based in Boston, Ms. Smith has spent 25 years as a journalist and is currently an NPR News National Desk Correspondent.

A recipient of several prestigious awards in journalism, Ms. Smith has deftly covered some of the most important and relevant news stories of our time. Smith’s career has had breadth and depth: she has addressed high profile court cases like that of mob boss Whitey Bulger, divisive issues like gay marriage and equal rights for same-sex couples, tragic events like the bombings at the Boston Marathon, and heartbreaking stories like the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

Ms. Smith has deftly covered some of the most important and relevant news stories of our time.

What sets Smith apart even among the best in her business isn’t the “scoops” she gets or the stories she covers. Rather, it is her ability to make these stories come to life for listeners. Smith’s reports are not simply a recitation of facts, nor do they needlessly stir up debate. Instead, Smith’s reporting illuminates the personal elements of events and controversies that are part of our public discourse.

Smith consistently tells a compelling story that invites listeners to immerse themselves within it and not simply stand outside it. She seamlessly weaves the untold story into the mainstream one, allowing us to see the bigger picture and why it matters. In her coverage of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, she was on the ground to report the details as they unfolded. In the months that followed, she told stories beyond the capture of suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev. She shared insights from the doctors that cared for the injured, lessons that area hospitals learned from the tragedy, and the struggles and triumphs that victims of the attack faced in the aftermath. In so doing, she created a better informed audience in us all.

She seamlessly weaves the untold story into the mainstream one, allowing us to see the bigger picture and why it matters.

Smith graduated from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations. She began working for NPR’s Boston affiliate, WBUR, in 1987. Throughout her career, she has been honored with numerous awards for outstanding journalism and reporting, including the Casey Medal; the Unity Award; a Radio and Television News Directors Association Award; and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award (Honorable Mention). In 1996, Ms. Smith moved to Africa where she worked as a reporter and journalism teacher. Two years later, she launched and began co-hosting “Here and Now,” a daily news show at NPR’s Boston station, WBUR.

Today, Smith continues her work for NPR in Boston. You can listen to her first-class reports on a variety of NPR broadcasts. Click here to listen to Smith’s report on what Boston hospitals learned through the Marathon bombings.

Photo courtesy of Doby Photography/NPR

By Lauren Frazier

Tag: Alumni News

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